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Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years (1999)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  18 April 1999 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 210 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 1 critic

Tells the story of Sadie and Bessie Delany, two African-American (they preferred "colored") sisters who both lived past the age of 100. They grew up on a North Carolina college campus, the ... See full summary »

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(book), (book), 2 more credits »
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Title: Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years (TV Movie 1999)

Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years (TV Movie 1999) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Sadie Delany
...
Annie Elizabeth 'Bessie' Delany
...
Amy Hill Hearth
...
Sadie in her 20s
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Bessie in her 20s
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Papa Delany
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Mama Delany
...
...
Martha Logan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Lemuel
Thomas Clark ...
Lucious
Sharlease Collier ...
Church goer
...
Bag Boy
...
Hubert Thomas Delany
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Storyline

Tells the story of Sadie and Bessie Delany, two African-American (they preferred "colored") sisters who both lived past the age of 100. They grew up on a North Carolina college campus, the daughters of the first African-American Episcopal bishop, who was born a slave, and a woman with an inter-racial background. With the support of each other and their family, they survived encounters with racism and sexism in their own different ways. Sadie quietly and sweetly broke barriers to become the first African-American home-ec teacher in New York City, while Bessie, with her own brand of outspokenness, became the second African-American dentist in New York City. At the ages of 103 and 101, they told their story to Amy Hill Hearth, a white New York Times reporter who published an article about them. The overwhelming response launched a bestselling book, a Broadway play, and this film. Written by Tommy Peter

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Drama

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Release Date:

18 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Having Our Say  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While this movie is based on the first book the Delany sisters did together, certain parts of it - Sadie tricking her way into teaching at a school, and the sisters seeing themselves on Broadway - weren't revealed until Sadie published her own book "On My Own at 107" four years later. See more »

Quotes

Annie Elizabeth 'Bessie' Delany: Young man, if the phone company gave us a phone for free and sent somebody to stand over that phone and answer that phone for us...
Annie Elizabeth 'Bessie' DelanySadie Delany: We still wouldn't want a phone.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Powerful and Insightful Film
15 January 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After seeing the play that this is based on, I was surprised to read that it was being made into a film for television. The entire play consisted of two old women cooking dinner and talking. How could they get a movie out of that? Well, they certainly did! As powerful and moving as the play was, this film adds voices and images that bring the past to life -sometimes warmly, and sometimes in a chilling manner that shocks our modern sensibilities.

All of the performances are excellent -There's no one to single out because everyone involved did fantastic work. The real stars are the Delaney sisters themselves, and their personalities emerge with crystalline clarity in every scene. This American classic is long overdue for a deluxe DVD release with commentary and other bonus materials. Until then, it is at least available from the Having Our Say website.

Don't let the subject of this film fool you. It's not just for women and/or people of color. It's a remarkable trove of insight and wisdom from two accomplished women who lived -and thrived -through precarious times and emerged with dignity and grace. We need more people like the Delaney sisters in our world.


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